Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sewing Circles





I have been working on this block for quite a while now.  It was wonderful to put the final applique stitches into this block this week.
I have to admit I was stressing a bit about how long these blocks are taking.  I had set a goal of finishing them by the end of summer.  I decided a couple of weeks ago, sometimes it is better not to have a deadline.  I love to applique, but applique takes time and I have decided to just enjoy the process.  Remember the Doris Day song from the 1950's Que Sera Sera, that is the attitude one needs to take with applique, what will be will be.

So, after getting all the layers of pedals on the flowers I am added the three centers to the large flowers on the block.   I use perfect circles by  Karen Kay Buckley to make my circles.  I thought I would include some pics I took along the way for those of you that have never used them.



I start by tracing around the perfect circle template that corresponds to the finished size of the circle.


Next I baste around the outside of the drawn line in what will become the seam allowance.  Doing this before cutting them out makes this easier on the small circles.

This is how they look after cutting them out.


Then I place the plastic template on the wrong side of the fabric and pull the basting thread to gather the thread around the template. I will give the circle a quick shot of spray starch before I pull the thread.

This shows how the back side of the perfect circle looks after pulling the thread.  Then I give them a press with my iron till the fabric is dry.  Once they cool the template is removed and the thread can be clipped back and they are ready to applique.
The results are perfect circles ready to be applique to the center of my flowers






Hope you finding time to put in some slow stitching today.  I am linking to Kathy's  Slow Stitching Sunday so I can find inspiration from all the wonderful hand work being done today.


30 comments:

  1. Wonderful work!! It is a slow process but it is so beautifully made. Be proud. I LOVE it.

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    1. Thanks Chantal, so nice of you to take the time to leave a comment. It is a slow process but a wondeful journey to take.

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  2. I have so enjoyed watching your applique blocks come to life.

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    1. Thanks Karen, I keep dreaming about the day I can sew the top together. The quilting of it is going to be such a joy.

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  3. Looks easy! So, the plastic template remains in the circle?

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    1. No the template comes out after the first pressing. Just loosen the basting pop out the template and gently pull on the basting tail to help the circle go back to its shape and give it another press before stitching to the project. I find letting them cool before popping out the centers is a very important step for them to retain their shape.

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  4. that is just how I do circles too - and you are right it is best not to put a deadline on quilting - especially applique! I thought I would be done with Floral Fantasy by now but if I am not in the mood to work on applique I just can't do it - so I will take my time instead

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    1. It will get done in time, the right mood is essential and I think taking breaks from applique really helps me. I do more applique in the summer months and take the winters off while I get quilts hand quilted

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  5. Great little circles...I try to applique them free hand and end up with wonky circles..but that is ok because flowers aren't perfect!! That is my que sera sera!!!

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    1. I find if make bigger applique stitches and go around the circle twice they keep their shape better. I do agree about not perfect shapes, that is why I love needleturn applique over preturned it has a real hand made look. I think the wonderful thing about quilting is how personal it becomes.

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  6. Thanks for the tutorial I have the Karen Kay Buckley perfect circles, but have not used them yet. It would not have occurred to me to baste then cut. This will come in handy on my present applique project.
    I have recently come to the same conclusion re: deadlines. Kind of takes the joy out of what should be a pleasant pastime.

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    1. So glad you gained something from my process. When the circle get small basting after cutting them out really makes things fray. Enjoy your stitching and thanks for stopping by

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  7. Your flowers are so pretty and so worth the time and effort that it takes to make them. Quilting doesn't have to be a race. Some quilts will be finished quicker than others and some will take much longer and that is perfectly perfect!

    Great tip on basting the circles before cutting...I will have to remember that!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Ellen. So true about quilting, but sometimes I like to set deadlines or I seem to procrastinate. I really keeps the fraying down when you baste before cutting them out.

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  8. It looks beautiful and the tutorial is helpful! :)

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    1. I am glad you found it helpful! I love reading blogs so many wonderful tips that really have helped me learn and grow in my quilting. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment today.

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  9. What a great little tutorial on how you make your circles! I think I have some upcoming in some blocks... I'll have to give this a try.

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    1. They are fun! Some make their own templates and some even use washers. Hope some of my tips are helpful when you give it a try.

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  10. I'll have to get some of those perfect circles now that I know how to use them. Thanks for the tutorial. Your block looks wonderful. Slow Sunday Stitching - no rush. It all gets done.

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    1. So true Nell! I find I get more done when I don't worry about finishing, it let's me enjoy the stitching! More important to make a wonderful block than how quickly it is done.Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Loved seeing the step by step photos... such tiny circles!
    Hope you enjoyed your stitching today and thanks for linking up!

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    1. Thanks Kathy. I learn so many things from other bloggers that I like to pay it forward by giving some things that work for me. Sometimes the simple little tips can make such a difference.

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  12. That's a really good tip with stitching the circle first before cutting out. Thanks

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    1. It really does make doing the basting easier. Sometimes it helps to think outside the box.

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  13. Thanks for the tips! I'm going try both the pre-stitching and the starch before pulling the thread. Your block is outstanding!

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    1. Thanks Eileen! I find the starch helps it keep its shape so when the template is removed it will stay in that circle shape. Also when the circle is damp it gathers more smoothly.

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  14. Thank you, Carla, for the tips and the saying we appliquers need to adopt - Que será, será. You're so right - it can't be hurried. We lose a lot in doing so.

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    1. Yes, it is much more enjoyable to just enjoy the process than to keep fretting about how slow the process is. The results are always worth the wait

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  15. Please don't stress over your applique, stitching is supposed to be something to take us away from everyday's stress :-)
    xx

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    1. Oh I so agree Radka. I have had a much better week, since I let go of my hopes of finishing these blocks this summer. Thanks for reminding me that we stitch to relax.

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